Black pepper scattered all around a wooden spoon with some in it as well.

Can Dogs Eat Pepper?

People use different spices to give a desirable taste to the food they eat. But they are not the only ones who are fans of homemade meals. Our furry friends would take every chance they get when they are offered a bite of our food. If you are a fan of black pepper and you are not sure whether it is okay to give it to your dog, we are here to help! In other words, we’re going to help you figure out if dogs can eat pepper.

In general, black pepper should not cause any issues with your dog if it is given in moderation. Of course, this does not mean your dog should get food that contains pepper and other spices, especially as some can be toxic to them. Remember to always consult with your veterinarian prior to any changes to your dog’s diet.

Is Black Pepper Safe For My Dog?

An array of black pepper in different containers.
Looks good, but it shouldn’t be given to dogs.

We love using black pepper in our food. It comes from the plant called piper nigrum, which is native to the regions of India. Most people use it in everyday cooking, some more and some less. It has a spicy taste, and dogs usually are not fans of it, which is why whenever you are making biologically appropriate raw foods (BARF) for your dog, you should avoid using this seasoning.

Black pepper is usually safe for the dogs though, but like with everything, if your dog ingests a larger amount, it may end up with an upset tummy, and you may end up cleaning some vomit from your brand new carpet. 

Also, sometimes dogs are curious, and if they sniff a package of ground black pepper, they may find themselves sneezing quite hard and quite a lot for a short period of time. Trust me. It has happened to me too! 

What Can Happen If My Dog Ingests A Large Amount Of Black Pepper?

Well, if your dog stole some food with black pepper in it, be prepared for some fun with cleaning. Here are the most common problems that you could expect to see if your pooch had a delicious dinner with black pepper.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Black pepper, as well as other spices, contain capsaicin, which gives spiciness to the peppers. It can also cause irritation to the mouth and stomach as well as the intestines, so your dog may end up having nasty diarrhea or vomit.

Respiratory Problems

Dogs like to sniff what they eat. If you happen to season the food with a good amount of black pepper, your dog may find itself sneezing and coughing hard if it sniffed the food. In some cases, it can cause swelling, and your dog may find itself in a spicy situation! 


Yes, they can happen in dogs too! Eating too much spicy food burns both the same at the beginning and at the end of the journey. Swelling of the veins in the anus could lead to hemorrhoids. 

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Black Pepper?

If you think that your dog has eaten too much black pepper, give your vet a call and tell them what happened. Some dogs may be allergic to black pepper, which is why you should watch if they experience itching or skin redness. However, if you are concerned with any other signs, take that trip to the vet’s office

Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Pepper?

Even though black pepper is okay, please do not make it a habit or an excuse for you to give it to your dog. Not unless you are willing to clean up or spend some dollars at the vet’s office!

So, has your dog ever ingested black pepper? Let us know in the comments below!

Dr. Nade Georgieva
Dr. Nade Georgieva
Dr. Nade Georgieva, DVM, PG Dipp (Anesthesia and Analgesia) Nade is a young veterinarian from North Macedonia, with five years of experience in small animal clinical practice. She graduated from the Veterinary Faculty in Skopje, after which she got employed in her hometown. She has shown great interest in the field of pain management and anesthesia, and was the first vet in the country to continue education in the field. In 2021 she graduated with Distinction at the Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh, obtaining the title Postgraduate Diploma-Anesthesia and Analgesia. Nade is owned by a year old black Labrador retriever named Fred and she loves spending her time outdoors with her dog and friends. In her spare time, she also loves to learn to play the guitar and take photos of nature and animals.